Paul in Virginia “refound” This is True in 2021. He re-subscribed and sent a note, “I used to get ‘News of the Weird’ until Chuck Shepherd took ill. I ran into one of my old GOOHF cards and hoped that you were still publishing and am delighted to see that you are. Please stay healthy!”
Since then, Paul has become probably the top submitter of story ideas from the readership, and he was the one who let me know that Chuck had died, which I really appreciated so I could write about him.
This weekend he sent a note with a nod to those submissions. “I don’t mind doing it because I’m an information junkie and get to see lots of articles. Passing them on to you isn’t much effort. However, I don’t recall you using any of the articles that I’ve sent. I’m not in the least bit upset, it just means that I’m not tuned in to what you are looking for. If that is the case, I’m wasting both of our time because you don’t need to read things you don’t need. In light of this, should I stop sending you articles? Remember that it won’t upset me if you say stop. And, I’ll still read This is True.”
I told Paul that “I appreciate your approach on this and your attitude.” And I thought posting the rest of my reply might be helpful to other info junkies.
My policy (if you will) is, “I really do appreciate your submission of great stories, but sorry: due to the huge volume of suggestions, I only reply to a suggestion if it’s both useful and you’re the first to suggest it, so you know you’re the one who brought it to my attention.”
My recollection is that I have indeed responded to you with several potential hits, and it’d be surprising if really none of them were used, but it’s possible: I only clip a small number of articles that I see, and then I only use about a quarter of those. It all comes down to what works well together each Sunday as I sit down to write, plus what I know is coming from the contributors.
Bottom line, I do indeed appreciate reader submissions in large part because I can go through them VERY quickly. To increase your hit rate, do review that linked page. I need stories to be on “mainstream” and “legitimate” news outlets; I won’t use UPI (operated by the Unification Church, commonly known as the “Moonies”), The Epoch Times (operated by the Chinese Falun Gong new religious movement), or, for that matter, the Christian Science Monitor.
My preference is that you go through that linked page if you haven’t done so recently, perhaps refocus accordingly, and keep doing what you’re doing. Thanks for your efforts.
After I sent that I searched my Sent folder for his address, and found I had indeed replied to him quite a few times, and opened a few randomly. Paul, for instance, alerted me to the co-pilot who “fell” out of a skydiving plane …while not wearing a parachute (More Training Needed in #1468, 31 July 2022).
Another reply (twice!) was “Too late: already in this week’s issue,” so clearly he is tuned into what I’m looking for.
But yes, I “get” that it’s frustrating to submit articles just because there is so much flow. While I do find most of the stories myself during my weekly research, I’d guess that readers alert me to 1 or 2 stories each week that I didn’t find in that research.
So my answer is yes, and hopefully it’s worth your time because it does help.
Thanks to all who persist!
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